Review: Retina CS

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Retina CS from BeyondTrust offers up quite a few strong features for vulnerability management throughout the enterprise. This solution provides discovery and remediation of security risks and vulnerabilities based on priority and severity. It offers the usual vulnerability scanning and assessment functions, but takes this a step further by adding context to those vulnerabilities, which brings in some risk management functionality alongside that of vulnerability management.

We found this tool to be simple to set up and deploy. To get the appliance running, we had to connect it to the network and assign an IP address using the buttons on the front panel of the appliance. We were then able to browse to the web-based management console. The first time we logged into the console, we were presented with a short setup wizard, which allowed us to configure some basic appliance settings, such as the administrator password and licensing information. After the wizard was complete, we were taken to the main appliance dashboard. All further management and configuration is done from this web-based administration console, which we found easy to navigate and to provide many charts, graphs and visuals displaying the overall security and risk assessments of the environment.

Aside from the easy-to-navigate dashboard and web-based management console, we found this product to include many scanning options. The scanning engine provides a number of templates for regulatory compliance scanning. Some of these include: PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, NIST, FERC/NERC, ISO, COBIT and ITIL. These templates, along with several other scanning options, provide comprehensive vulnerability and risk management across many devices and platforms throughout the enterprise.

Documentation included a short quick-start guide and a full user guide. The quick-start provided a good amount of detail, along with initial setup instructions to get the appliance up and running. The user guide picks up from there and provides highly detailed, step-by-step advanced configuration instruction, as well as many detailed descriptions on using the features and functions.

BeyondTrust offers both eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week and 24/7 support options as part of a subscription. Customers must purchase this at an extra cost. It provides access to both phone- and email-based technical assistance. Also available is access to an online portal that includes a knowledgebase and many resources, including product downloads and technical documentation.

At a price of approximately £6,471 for management of 256 assets, this product does carry quite the price tag for some environments, but we find it to be very good value for money. While expensive, we find Retina CS offers a lot in the way of overall vulnerability and risk management functions. Its feature set, combined with the many reporting and assessment options, gives an excellent overview of the enterprise security.

Very good value and a venerable product with a good focus on compliance

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